The Supper Club is a multi-faceted art project that brings together over 50 contemporary artists of color through portraiture and dialogue. Inspired by Vanity Fair Magazine’s annual “Hollywood Issue,” which showcases Hollywood’s biggest movie stars of that year, I set out to photograph over 50 contemporary artists of color in individual portrait. The photographs frame the artists as celebrities and transform their identities into iconic, fantastical images. Each artist was given a moniker as a way to define them within the group. For example, Irvin Morazan, The Shaman, whose practice has been offering us different shamanistic embodiments since 2011, presents as a shamanistic Che Guevara figure. Mickalene Thomas, The Female Gaze, is fashioned as a powerful Botticelli-esque Venus by the sea, not unlike the women portrayed in her paintings. All of the portraits will be featured in full page layouts in the book, alongside a brief description of each artist.
In addition to the portraits, I partnered with two different arts organizations in New York City, previously with Recess Art and currently with The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, as well as The Agora Culture in Washington DC to create a series of dinners in which the artists could lay down their burdens and engage in meaningful conversation about art, life, pop culture, politics and race. While the portraits create visual meaning– and in their own way seek to correct the overwhelming whitewashing of American culture in media such as Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue– the dinners are where the actual lived experiences of the artists of color can come to the forefront and be transformed into meaningful social and cultural criticism. Each dinner is audiotaped and transcribed. For this book, writer and curator, Nicole J. Caruth will weave and create multiple narratives with the dinner conversations to highlight the key elements in the discussions. (Full transcripts will be published separately at a later date.)
Ultimately, The Supper Club project serves as a critical historical archive of this moment, documenting African-American, Latin American, African, South Asian and Caribbean artists as a collective group. It is rare that so many creative voices, from so many cultural, social, political and economic backgrounds can come together in a way that clearly highlights the importance and richness of diverse critical perspectives in today’s society. More than a photography book, The Supper Club weighs in on the historical significance of the last few years and the enduring power of art, food, and conversation in our everyday lives.
Portraits will include: Abigail DeVille, Alejandro Guzman, Alex Rivera, Angel Otero, Arnaldo Morales, Brendan Fernandes, Carlos de Leon Sandoval, Chitra Ganesh, Clifford Owens, Coco Fusco, Dahlia Elsayed, David Antonio Cruz, Dawit Petros, Derrick Adams, Dread Scott, Firelei Baez, Hank Willis Thomas, Heather Hart, Ivan Monforte, Jacolby Satterwhite, Jaishri Abichandani, Janelle and Lisa Iglesias, Jaret Vadera, Jayson Keeling, Jeffrey Gibson, Juana Valdes, Kalup Linzy, Karina Skvirsky, Kenya Robinson, LaTasha Nevada Diggs, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Legacy Russell, Lina Puerta, Lorraine O'Grady, Marin Hassinger, Michael Paul Britto, Mickalene Thomas, Miguel Luciano, Nicolas Dumit Estevez, Nicole Awai, niv Acosta, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Rachelle Mozman, Rafael Sanchez, Rajkamal Kahlon,Rashawn Griffin, Rico Gaston, Sanford Biggers, Saya Woolfalk, Scherezade and Iliana Garcia, Shaun Leonardo, Shinique Smith, Simone Leigh, Steffani Jemison, Wangechi Mutu, Wanda Ortiz, and Zachary Fabri
Guest have included: Aaron Phillip, Adrian Loving, Adrienne Childs, Alex Segade, Alexandria Smith, Alexis Duque, Amanda Stafford, Andre Singleton, Andrew Russeth, Antwan Sargent, Arlene Davila, Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas, Beth Wilde Biasiny, Bora Yoon, Brandi Thompson, Caitlin Marz, Cameron Welsh, Carlos Melgoza, Carmelita Tropicana, Carmen Ramos, Charles Biasiny-Rivera, Cheto Castellano, Christopher Lew, Chris Udemezue, Cordula Maria Rien Kuntari, David Driskell, Deborah Jack, Donald Rubin, Dulcina Abreu, Earl Stafford, Eduardo Ayala Fuentes, Edwin Ramoran, Elisabeth Smolarz, Ellington Robinson, Emily Sufrin, Esperanza Mayorbe, Eva Diaz, Fabiana Lopes, Geandy Pavon, George Bolster, Hai Zhang, Henry Thaggert, Holly Bass, Hong Gyu Shin, Hosan Lee, Jackqueline Tarry, Jarvis Dubois, Jeanine Tang, Jennifer Cendana Armas, Jessica Stafford Davis, Joanne Flores, John Arthur Peetz, Josh Franco, Juan Sanchez, Juan Thompson, Judy Brodsky, Julie Chae, Kibra Yohannes, Larry Ossei-Mensah, Laurie Prendergast, Lavanya Ramanathan, Leeroy Kunyung Kang, Leslie Sardinias, Lisa Gold, Lisette Oliveras, Lynn Pomo, MahlOt Sansosa*, Maia Cruz Palileo, Mailyn Machado, Malik Gaines, Margerie Silverman, Maria Jose, Maris Curran, Marlon Feliz, Marta Perez Garcia, Martita Abril, Michael Royce, Nicky Enright, Nicole Caruth, Nora Cole, Omar Lopez-Chaoud, Osdany Morales, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Peuo Tuy, Rehan Ansari, Robert Penn, Rocio Aranda, Rosamond S. King, Sadia Shirazi*, Sara Reisman, Saul Ostrow, Seph Rodney, Sheldon Scott, Shelley Rubin, Stefanie Rodriguez, Stephen Winters*, Sur Rodney Sur, Susane Lee, Tanya Katerí Hernández, Tara Hart*, Tashima Thomas, Terry Boddie, Tony Whitfield*, Tuliza Fleming, Tygaphaw, Uri McMillan, William Villalongo, Yasmin Ramirez, Zira Saro Wawa, Zoe Charlton